Thank you for the very well written article (“Have We Got a Job for You?” 8/22) on the problems with the D.C. Department of Employment Services (DOES). The DOES is really laughable, about as convincing with its do-gooding as an infomercial trying to sell me painless hair-removal wax. It’s sad to see that the head of it won’t take responsibility for his crap-circus department, try to come up with solutions to provide more sensitive customer care. After all, don’t we all pay for it to some extent?
Last December, I was laid off from my job because of the way the economy is. Not only did I have significant difficulties with this department’s Web site, it took me forever to get a live person on the phone. When I finally did, I wasn’t met with an attitude that made me feel as if I were going to get any help.
The DOES canceled my appointment twice, and when I finally went in for my “meeting” (with 40 other people), I felt as though I were being treated as less of a person. From the moment I walked in the door and was barked at to get in line, to when I was spoken to as though I didn’t know English (I am fully bilingual and was helping a non-English-speaker with his paperwork, and I was given that really annoying tone of voice that pisses everyone off, non-native speaker or not), to when I was shushed like a child by the woman conducting the “meeting,” my entire experience with the DOES was a very negative one, and I can only imagine what people who are in a worse state than I was have to go through.
You’d think a program that gets such good funding (compared with…I dunno, the school system?) could do a little better than pretty offices, comfy chairs, and those condescending inspirational posters. I don’t give a hoot about what the places look like. I do care that its employees give sensitive and honest information and support to people who really need it, not just empty promises and mismanagement of the customers’ time. Our tax dollars are supposed go to helping us get back on our feet, not the feng shui of an office.
Thanks for reading my rant, and keep the great stories coming!